Power outage closes schools in White City

Pacific Power provided this picture of the damaged pole.

The top of a power pole snapped off in White City, cutting power for about 1,300 customers, including White City and Mountain View elementary schools.

White City and Mountain View elementary schools have closed because of the outage, cancelling afternoon kindergarten and sending home students whose parents were notified of the closure. Students whose parents couldn't be reached will stay at school with teachers.

The top 3 to 4 feet of a power pole on Avenue H broke off at about 10 a.m., Pacific Power spokeswoman Jan Mitchell said. Repair crews estimate that fixing the damage and restoring electricity will take about six hours.

The pole will have to be replaced, Mitchell said. "We weren't given a cause, so they might not know the cause, but it definitely needs to be fixed," she said.

Facing a whole school day without power, the two elementary schools cancelled classes and notified parents. Students who usually ride buses and whose parents had been reached boarded buses that left around 11 a.m. Students who walk to school were released as parents were contacted. Students who usually attend after-school program at the Boys and Girls Club went there. Regular bus routes also will run at the usual dismissal time.

The power outage has taken out phone service at both schools. Anyone with questions can contact the Eagle Point School District office at 541-830-6551.

Updated 1:33 p.m.: Oregon Department of Transportation reports that the outage has taken traffic signals on Highway 62 at Shasta Way and the Veterans Affairs center in White City out of operation. Traffic has slowed and drivers should use caution in the area.

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